The greatest challenge is learning to work alongside yourself. If you can figure out how to do this successfully everything else is a breeze.
February 9, 2014, is the last time I had a drink. In a couple of days I will be celebrating my one year anniversary – I don’t know what to say. Lately I have been in my head. My thoughts are a bit scattered though still focused. I don’t sleep very much – I don’t want to sleep. I am every emotion you can imagine apart from depression. My thoughts are positive but they are racing and exhausted. It is time for me to be still — time to slow down.
There is no way for me to effectively sum up this past year. I have tried in my head and it doesn’t work — it exhausts me. I want to write because I want to escape my thoughts for a bit. It is, after all, the main reason I do this. It is why I share so much — if I am not honest with myself how can I expect anyone to listen, to understand?
I can’t sum anything up but I can say that everything is different and everything is the same. My perspective has changed dramatically but the world hasn’t changed at all – When I say this I mean the world hasn’t changed concerning its approach to me and my life.
My life has become simpler and more connected than ever before. I have become close to more people and made myself available to others in a way that is completely new to me. My mindset has changed, my thoughts don’t waver as much though they continually move; they are building on one another as opposed to breaking down and starting over. I no longer want to be different from everyone else, I only want to be connected and I don’t care what that looks like.
My days have been full of reflection, meetings, writing, and more reflection. What is different this time around is that my thoughts are not negative, they aren’t situated in morbid reflection or thoughts of failure. I don’t think I am a failure because my actions do not reflect failure. I have changed my thinking from the inside out.
When I began this process not everything was clear to everybody. Addiction is something that people feel they should understand because it is everywhere. Everyone has an addict in their family; everyone sees it on tv. People feel like they kind of know what is going on — people are generally, in my life at least, willing to try. I began by wanting to prove to everyone that I was doing the work; I was practicing humility, honesty, etc. It doesn’t work this way, and luckily someone convinced me early on. You do not see the changes being made until they are ready to materialize into the stream of life, but they are being worked on with intent. You will see my humility when I feel it inside. You will know I am honest when I am not able to lie to myself. These things will show themselves to the world, and I must not force them.
This is how I have changed — everything begins behind the curtain and I have no say when it chooses to appear to the audience. I have zero control over what you think of me — I begin to lose the desire to judge others when I am confident in myself. When I have judged someone just a bit, I know that my self is not satisfied — when I judge a person with contempt I know that my insecurities are at their peak.
People ask me who I am or who I want to be and it is the easiest question to answer: I want to be happy. This is not as simple as one might think. If you asked me in the past my answers would look very different: I want to be a famous writer, I want to be rich, I want to find the perfect woman, I want a house in Montana, I want a house in the village. Do you see the change, the movement? I thought that once I had these things they would make me happy. I was starting at the wrong place; I was starting at the end.
Today, and each day, I just want to be useful and fulfilled. I don’t care what it looks like; if any of the things I think I want will be there at the end of the day, I don’t care anymore. In the past I would become exasperated when someone would walk out of my life, what had I done wrong? Today people leave my life as quickly as they entered it and I do not question why. The right people, the ones for me, will always be in my life because they are meant to be. Why would I want to hold someone hostage, I don’t want anything or anyone in my life to be forced. We take what happens naturally, it is by far the best outcome.
Tonight I am a mess. My mind is scattered, positive but with a voracious appetite for more; More anything. I don’t want to sleep, again. I want to read The Road Less Traveled again even though I finished it yesterday. I want to tell you about all the exciting new prospects and people in my life. I want to impress you – I want to tell you that I have done something right this time. But in the back of my mind, I know that I no longer need to do this. Although I am a mess, sleep deprived and hungry, I am happy.
I go back to what got me here; I begin exercising more, I start a new gratitude list, I do the things that make me uncomfortable because I have to. They make my life easier — the things that make me comfortable do not reflect well in this world. I am not resigned to this; I am excited to learn. I will not pretend to understand you, but I will listen to you. I will not mislead you — if you want to know me you can, I am here, but I will not persuade you to stay. My life is simple — it is amazing. Sometimes it seems as though simplicity is complicated and vice versa. Sometimes I define the wrong things. But my heart does not change — my passion does not move.
Today I understand that all that I know is that I know nothing. Everything is building. Nothing is permanent, and my judgment is useless. I go back to flying, I go back to putting in the work, I remain in service to those around me. The weight begins dropping; my shoulders start to relax, and my eyes regain their sharpness. I will leave from time to time; I must tend to this relationship with myself. But I promise that I will always return stronger, happier, and more willing than when I left.